Yesterday, I had the pleasure of dining at BiBimBap, a delightful Korean restaurant on the happening Charlotte Street. To kick off proceedings, I had some Korean plum wine. It was served in a glass a little larger than a shotglass, with an actually grape in the glass. Cute!
I had two sides: the indispensable seafood pancake, which, as ever, did not disappoint, as well as squid. Both whetted my appetite sufficiently for the main meal, and, graciously, managed to be delicious without being inundated in sauce, meaning you could actually savour the flavour of the food. In the region of £6 each, these both represent good value for such healthy appetisers. In addition to the taste, what really struck me about each of the BiBimBap dishes were the flood of colours in each of the dishes. Every dish was presented meticulously and gorgeously, looking as good as it tasted.
For main, I had the chilli chicken bibimbap. The balance between the meat and the greens was spot-on, and the fried egg on top added to the visual and sensory pleasure that was the meal. The staff were super-attentive throughout my stay, and unlike at other places where they disappear off and forget what you ask for, I was looked after within seconds of my request, which impressed me greatly. Furthermore, for a little extra, you can get brown rice (cooked so that it is deliciously crisp), further boosting this place’s healthiness credentials.
I was the first one in the restaurant when it opened at 6pm, but it got busy very quickly. Considering the cultural treat that a visit to this place was, I’m not surprised! The prices are very reasonable and the down-to-earth, hospitable atmosphere makes this a perfect place to bring friends to for a fun night out. Don’t miss out. You can check out their website here.
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I went to da Scalzo yesterday with colleagues for dinner before the opera and was more than satisfied with the quality of the food, both main and dessert, and the wine, which was a charmingly fruity 2012 red number that went down a treat.
Being an authentic Italian diner, da Scalzo has a few signature pasta and salad dishes, but is primarily a pizza place, where it boasts the usual you’d expect from Pizza Express, but all prepared with that bit more oomph than Pizza Express’ paint-by-numbers style that has resulted in them desperately offering so many 2-for the price of-1 deals just to get bums on seats. The vast majority of pizzas were around a tenner each, which is very reasonable, given that this is the same price you’d expect to pay in Pizza Express, and for a lower quality. I had the Siciliana, which had tuna, anchovies, vegetables and cheese on, and it suited my palate perfectly, especially the handsome saltiness. Perhaps the only mild foible about the food was that when we asked for food, only tomatoes and onions were laid on our plate. Whilst I like both of those, it would have been nice to have been fed some greens too. However, it would be churlish to whine too much, particularly given the high quality of the service - anything I asked for, the waiter had it to be within seconds.
For dessert, I had a tiramisu, which I find a concoction that’s very hit-and-miss. When it’s good, it’s orgasmic. When it’s bad, however, you might as well just get the Sainsbury’s one, so dull is the mesh of flavours. Fortunately, this sat in the former camp. Creamy, rich, filling and completely delicious, I wolfed mine down in four bites.
Just a couple hundred metres away from Victoria coach station, this isn’t a particularly hard place to find. Downstairs, there is a bar, so if you arrive before friends, you can settle in with a nice Peroni. Across the walls are painted sayings by the likes of Fellini, Euripides and Sophie Loren about the virtues of food, and how it enriches life. Dine here, and it’s hard to disagree with them.